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Briefly: The Metro Area

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 2, 2012 | Go to article overview

Briefly: The Metro Area


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

MARYLAND

ANNAPOLIS

Gansler files for stay of DNA-collection ruling

Maryland's attorney general wants to keep a state law that allows police to collect DNA from people charged with a violent crime, burglary or attempts to commit those crimes.

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler filed a motion Tuesday to stay the Maryland Court of Appeals decision striking down the measure.

Mr. Gansler said he would file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court if the state court does not reconsider its decision.

We're not optimistic that they're going to change their ruling, he said.

Mirroring a similar decision in Minnesota, the Maryland court ruled last week that probable cause to make an arrest does not justify taking a biological specimen without a search warrant.

The ability to test DNA of people charged with crimes has led to dozens of convictions in Maryland cold cases, Mr. Gansler said. It has also exonerated people who were wrongly convicted, he said.

The Maryland court issued its 5-2 ruling in the case of Alonzo King Jr., who was arrested in 2009 on first- and second-degree assault charges. His DNA sample matched a sample taken from a sexual-assault victim in an unsolved 2003 rape. King was convicted of first-degree rape and sentenced to life in prison. The ruling sent King's case back to Wicomico County Circuit Court for a new trial.

- Associated Press

BALTIMORE

Witness: Beating suspect acted in self-defense

The president of a neighborhood-watch group says he thinks one of two brothers charged with assaulting a teen acted in self-defense.

Daniel Harris, president of Shomrim of Baltimore, testified Tuesday in the trial of two brothers charged with beating a black teen while patrolling for the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood-watch group.

Mr. Harris says he met with Eliyahu Werdesheim the day after the incident. He says he thinks Mr. Werdesheim acted in self-defense based on what he heard on the group's radio transmissions and his conversations with Mr. Werdesheim and other members of the group.

Mr. Harris says Mr. Werdesheim told him he thought he hit the teen in the head while trying to take a board away from him. The brothers have claimed self-defense.

- Associated Press

VIRGINIA

RICHMOND

Women make up majority of younger Va. physicians

The majority of younger Virginia physicians are women for the first time in the state's history, but men still dominate the overall ranks, a state report released Tuesday said.

Fifty-three percent of physicians under 35 are women, while two-thirds of all physicians are men, according to the report released Tuesday by the Virginia Department of Health Professions' Healthcare Workforce Data Center.

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